My 10 year old son came home from school today very upset.  He said a kid asked him if he had meat in his sandwich?  My son said, "it's egg salad".  The boy then said, "You're not a man if you don't eat meat!"  Then turned to his friends and said, "Corey is turning into a GIRL"

I am so disgusted by this type of thought process!  I can NOT believe, in this day and age, in my "progressive" State of California...my son's "manhood is already being tested?! Furthermore, by weither or not he is a carnivore?"

I am at a loss for words on where to start to explain the complexity of the situation to my adolescent child.  I am pissed off by the ignorance and stupidity of this kid, and it having such a harmful effect on my child...grrr!

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well, don't forget where the other child got it. they learn that from their parents.

I guess i'd just have to say that teaching your kids to be proud is key. Stand up for themselves and their beliefs. That's how i've raised my 7 year old son.

It definitely doesn't get better in a school environment. I converted to being vegetarian in the sixth grade and have found little acceptance from peers. The teasing continues and finding someone to talk to during school hours has proved difficult. Even at the highschool level, where peers are beginning to develop their own opinions, there isn't much tolerance towards vegetarianism, mainly criticism. It's better to just avoid the subject, I think. That can be so hard though. Tell your kid to stay tough because it's worth it in the long run. Good luck!

I am actually taking a college seminar regarding gender identity--and we have talked about how society molds to what it deems as masculine and feminine in society today. A lot of what creates these gender identities are social insititutions--peers and schools are especially crucial in this process.  We act upon social scripts--and we tend to normalize what is right and wrong for a gender to do--sadly, being a "man" in society entails being muscular, which implies lots of meat and protein. Standing up for animal rights is seen as a more sensitive issue--something that is geared more towards females.

There is huge controversy regarding PETA's advertising efforts to appeal to men--often sexualizing women in adds as a way to promote vegetarianism. It's sad to see that even PETA, is attempting to appeal to men by adding sex appeal, as it already relies on the assumption that vegetarianism is seen as feminine within society.

well, PETA tend to be pretty misled on some of their agendas and campaigns.

I teach my kids pride in saving animals. and having had to deal with that for a long time, i also teach them to respect others yet not be disrespected. It's a two way street.

Ignorance is a major problem with humanity.

Really interesting to me, thanks Shannon.  I guess the assumption that vegetarianism is seen as feminine stems from the "gathers" versus the "hunters" theory?  I can't believe it is still being taken in such a literal sense.

It's absolute insane ignorance. There's no other words i can think of. When i went vegan i heard many comments from friends about vegetarianism being "gay". I even had my step-father ask me if i was gay, lol, because i lost alot of my bulk this past year. Which is awesome, right? I still train like a madman in the gym but have more endurance, stamina and cardiovascular strength than i ever had, but just 50 lbs lighter. I love it, forget the haters. It's just funny to me how ignorant ppl would tie sexual preference to your diet. Stay strong!

Thank you Veggie friends for "talking me off the ledge" I joined this site for some moral support, but didn't know I'd need it so soon! 

well your son can tell his friends about a book that came out last year sometime.  The title is "Meat is for Pussies."  The author is a metal/hardcore rockstar who is a vegan.  Although the title is not particularly "PC," he explains in an interview that he is basically brought up in a street language sensibility. 

his title could have been better, but I guess it is an attention grabber for the right crowd.  well the point is that meat is for weak men who act like girls.  well what are we gonna do?  can't get away from the macho manouever of comparing guys to girls in any dietary group it seems!

LOL!  Thanks for the book idea, I actually love it.  Maybe my son can "gift it" to the little shit head?  Just kidding.  I am def going to check it out tho.  I am raising two boys and this sheds a new light on the sexism with food for me.  Unbelievable, but true....peace

The book definitely sounds interesting. i'm needing to get it. the author falls under an MMA perspective and how things are.

And sadly, kids are nasty in many ways. here's yet another.

What is an MMA perspective?  I know teasing comes with growing up.   From How you look, act, dress, study, but HOW YOU EAT as well??  Geesh, what's left?!

Sadly, anything that marks you as different will bring you difficulties in high school- I'm sorry that your son has had to encounter this! Maybe make him some vegan/veggie sweeties, something to make the other kids jealous? Then they can see how awesome his food is when they're begging him for a piece, haha. 

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